Pediatric palliative care in Canada in 2012: a cross-sectional descriptive study.

Title

Pediatric palliative care in Canada in 2012: a cross-sectional descriptive study.

Creator

Widger K; Davies D; Adam R; Vadeboncoeur C; Liben S; Amrita S; Stenekes S; Claude C; Daoust L; Gregoire Marie-Claude; Robertson M; Hodgson-Viden H; Laflamme J; Siden H

Publisher

Cmaj Open

Date

2016

Description

BACKGROUND: Pediatric palliative care focuses on comprehensive symptom management and enhancing quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and their families. Our aim was to describe Canadian programs that provided specialized pediatric palliative care in 2012 and the children who received it and to estimate the proportion of children who might benefit that received specialized care. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. Specialized pediatric palliative care programs were included in the study if they offered multidisciplinary consulting pediatric palliative care services to a wide range of children and served all populations of children with life-threatening illness regardless of diagnosis. Investigators in programs that had taken part in a prior study were invited to participate. New programs that met the inclusion criteria were identified through snowball sampling within pediatric palliative care networks. Program data were obtained via surveys with coinvestigators, and health record reviews were used to obtain information about the children who received care through the programs. RESULTS: All 13 programs identified, including 3 with a free-standing hospice, agreed to take part in the study. Of the 1401 children who received care, 508 (36.2%) were under 1 year of age, and 504 (36.0%) had a congenital illness or condition originating in the perinatal period. Of the 431 children who died in 2012, 105 (24.4%) died in a critical care setting. Programs with a hospice provided care to 517 children (36.9%). Children in this group tended to be older, more often had a neurologic illness and received care for a longer time than those who received care from programs without a hospice. Overall, 18.6% (95% confidence interval 17.1%-20.3%) of deceased children who might have benefitted from specialized pediatric palliative care based on diagnosis received such care, with 110 (25.2%) receiving care for less than 8 days. INTERPRETATION: Program growth and changes in patients' demographic and clinical characteristics indicate improved reach of programs. However, barriers remain that prevent most children with life-threatening conditions from receiving specialized pediatric palliative care services.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

n/a

PMID

PMID: 28018868 PMCID: PMC5173480

Citation

Widger K; Davies D; Adam R; Vadeboncoeur C; Liben S; Amrita S; Stenekes S; Claude C; Daoust L; Gregoire Marie-Claude; Robertson M; Hodgson-Viden H; Laflamme J; Siden H, “Pediatric palliative care in Canada in 2012: a cross-sectional descriptive study.,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed August 4, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/11069.

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